For too long, communication has been dismissed as a ‘soft skill’ and not valued as key to personal and career success.

It has been seen as a ‘fluffy extra’ rather than the most important area you can develop if you want to step up.

Workplaces and schools have traditionally focused on teaching, rewarding and promoting people based on their technical ‘hard’ skills, rather than communication and ability to relate well with others.

This has led to generations of people who have never been taught how to communicate effectively and instead operate based on instinct and emotion, with varying levels of success.

But the world is changing.

The value of ‘soft’ skills such as communication is now being recognised.

Employers no longer simply want the person with the most experience for the job; they want the RIGHT PERSON for the job.

This is catching many people out.

Highly experienced professionals and tradespeople are not getting jobs they thought they’d land, and ‘next in line’ doesn’t determine who gets a promotion.

Yes, experience is still important, but having strong interpersonal and communication skills is right up there too.

It’s the one selection criteria that can now be found in almost every position description, regardless of the job.

Why?

Because people with these skills work well with others, stay calm under pressure, have difficult conversations when needed, build strong relationships, and think before they speak.

Effective communication is much more than being able to hold a conversation and listen half-decently. It’s about choice, personal responsibility, emotional intelligence, empathy, self-regulation, consideration, courage and then – and only then – communication.

If you want to increase your employability, likelihood of promotion, and chances of success pursuing any outcome, one of the smartest things you can do is develop your communication skills.

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Leah Mether is a communications specialist, trainer, speaker, author and Director of Methmac Communications.

Her popular workshop, Effective Communication: Developing Assertiveness for Personal and Career Success, has been described as a ‘must do’ for front-line leaders and anyone looking to make the best of professional and personal relationships.

Only three tickets remain to her next public workshop in Moe on Thursday 19 April. Tickets are available at www.effectivecommsmoe.eventbrite.com.au.

 For enquiries about corporate or private workshops, email leah@methmac.com.au.